Slow and Steady, ‘Cause it is not a Race!

Munch…munch…nom…nom…chomp…chomp… The sounds reverberated in my head in a loop, almost like a sound over, as I watched the little snail noiselessly, yet resolutely make short work of a verdant, succulent leaf. My mind space was yet in the umbra of Shadow’s astuteness (ohh, you haven’t read my last post of December 3?) as I bent down to tie an undone shoe lace; so it was only due a chance glance to the velvety green, algae-laden wall on my left that the snail penetrated my subconscious vision. Though the snail itself was doubtlessly conscious of its environs and without so much as a pause addressed me between mouthfuls, “Where, my friend, where – munch, munch – are you off to in such a blazing hurry?”

I looked up towards the sky yet again. The glow of tangerine hues were already dissipating against the advent of a baby blue – I had missed my sunrise shot. “Yes, yes”, mumbled the snail between delectable morsels, “I know you missed it. But you can catch sunny boy tomorrow and if not, then the day after…”, the disappointment on my face must have been evident. “Slow down my friend”, the snail finally paused in its eatathon, “it will do you a whole lot of good. Listen to me and one day you will return to thank good ol’ Slomo – that’s me, by the way”.

“But I am slowing down; you see, this is a holiday from my routine out in this wilderness to stare and admire the beauteous spectacles of nature!” I retorted passively. “You, my friend are like that Turbo fella. You go zipping through life, bustling with pseudo-charged energy, working up a frenzy to lead a fast-paced hectic lifestyle but at the same time waging war with stress, nervousness, tension, anxiety, unease and frustration. And when you feel you can no longer handle it all, you come running into the arms of Mother Nature seeking short-lived solitude, tranquillity, solace and peace. Dear fellow, you need to slow down in life – may be just like me”.

“Do you really want to do scores of things, juggling so many balls at one time? When you finally tire, burnt out, will the record that you managed to do ‘x’ number of projects in your lifetime do you any good apart from giving you a false sense of accomplishment? Think of all that you would have lost in the bargain marching towards a fallacious belief of triumph!” Slomo was, no pun intended, slowly beginning to make sense. “Do less, finding pleasure in whatever you do, focusing on quality rather than quantity. In the process, you will have to learn to say no – do so. Spend time with people you love; make time for hobbies. Plan for the future – that is good – but do not be mechanical about it; learn also to live in the moment occasionally, going with the flow. And do what you are doing now more often – appreciate and connect with Mother Nature! Acknowledge us fellow beings, observe us, connect with us, appreciate our existence and you will find that there is a lot to learn from us.”

“So, slow I may be but I pace it steady. I hope you have something to take away from this chance rendezvous of ours. And finally, let me advice you that instead of rushing off towards the creek to bid good morning to sunny boy, walk slowly – a leisurely step at a time – and I promise you, you will not leave by the time sunny boy wishes you good night!” And without much ado Slomo turned around, deftly managing the cumbrous shell, to continue with the singularly important breakfast activity.

– Narendra Nayak © 2017


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